Released Date: December 2012
Written By: Gregory Ayers
A to B, the new double-album from Redline Addiction, isn’t a record – it’s a menu to one of the most diverse musical meals you’ll ever consume.
RA’s rock ‘n’ roll buffet does what your mother never let you do – start with dessert. Disc one kicks-off with five straight pop-punk sugar pills that hype you up with honey-sweet hooks and heavily glazed guitar riffs. Rob Robinson’s emotional tenor adds an extra kick of personality and warmth to these tunes, too.
After the sugar high, RA proves they’re capable of cooking up finer fare. The album’s best songs are RA’s homemade versions of recipes taken from other bands’ cookbooks.
“Devil with a Red Dress On,” “Highway Robbery,” and “Rusty” are swaggering takes on the Black Crowes’ southern-friend rhythm and blues. RA also lets simmer a hearty Seattle stew, mixing the best ingredients of ‘90s grunge – heavy riffs, volcanic solos, lumbering drums – into meaty, arena-ready songs like “The Arsonist,” “Dark Days,” and “Melancholy.” “Last Call” and “Yukon Gold” add spicier ska flavorings.
That’s not to say these tunes are mere genre exercises – they’re not. RA is a musically talented outfit, and they play with skill and self-assurance that brand these songs with RA’s own distinct personality. Chris McVey and Neil Mutreja carve out excellent guitar riffs together, and Rob Robinson’s vocal heft, emotional warmth, and sophisticated note selection shape the myriad of musical stylings into something unique.
However, disc two does has an undercooked ballad (“Yesterdays Wagers”) and even a couple flavorless alt-rock tunes (“Chunky, Come On!”, “Coming Attraction,” and “He’s Not A Bad Friend, Just A Lousy Lover”). Just think of these as mere pallet cleansers while you wait for the next course of the meal to arrive.
In an interview with DMD earlier this month, vocalist Rob Robinson mentioned that A to B “could be considered musically schizophrenic upon a first listen.” What you’ll really hear is a kitchen full of top chefs cooking not with knives and skillets, but with guitars, bass, and drums. So make a meal of A to B. You just might find yourself making it a staple of your musical diet.
Listen to “Devil with a Red Dress On” off of A to B: